Brett Harrison Davinger and Dan Fields offer their 10 favorite movies of 2012. Plus some honorable mentions.
The Man with the Iron Fists is nothing if not enthusiastic, its narrative fits and starts punctuated with glorious kung fu and layered with bright pinks and delicate silks. Set in nineteenth century China (and filmed entirely in and around Shanghai), it tells the tale of a freed slave who flees America and becomes the blacksmith in a small town in China.
The cast is major league. Pam Grier reestablished her career playing the title character and Robert Forster got an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Max Cherry, the soft-spoken and world-weary bail bondsman. But it is Samuel L. Jackson, over-the-top as the gunrunner and principal bad guy Ordell Robbie, who steals this picture.
This week Fast Five – which, as its title rather subtly implies, is the fifth film in the enormously (and bewilderingly) successful The Fast and the Furious franchise – opens nationwide and car culture gets another sugary sweet adrenaline rush. We here at The Fourth Wall are celebrating car movies and car chases this week to give you, our faithful readers, worthy alternatives in a Vin Diesel world.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, known best as the wartime Prime Minister, held in his distinguished career a number of other high positions, including Home Secretary and First Lord of the Admiralty. Renowned as an orator and statesman, he enjoys a permanent place in Western history. The adventure and controversy pervading his professional life seem ripe for an enterprising screenwriter to pick.
Smart though Tarantino may be, his self-aggrandizing filmic techniques grow old. Placing arrows and title cards in the frame doesn’t make it more entertaining. By continuously removing the audience from the narrative, Tarantino seemed to say “LOOK! This is a MOVIE! This is MY movie!”